Fall 2021 Financial Aid

Fall 2021 tuition charges will be calculated July 31 for registered students. Students registering after that date, will see their charges shortly afterward. Housing charges may already be reflected in your PAWS Student Center. Once charges are posted, you’ll be able to see a future balance due, and you’ll likely have some questions. Here are some of our FAQs!

What do I owe?

You will NOT be sent a paper bill. The Bursar Office will send an email to your @uwm.edu account asking you to view your billing statement in your PAWS Student Center. Those emails will go out shortly after charges are added. Please read all emails carefully.

It is very important that you select “View Billing Statement” (shown below) which takes into account anticipated financial aid. DO NOT SIMPLY LOOK AT THE ACCOUNT SUMMARY.

*Pop-ups must be enabled/allowed.*

Watch this video if you’d like a more detailed walkthrough of how to read your billing statement.

  • If the amount of anticipated aid is LESS than the amount owed, you will have a balance due to the university. As long as you have anticipated aid of at least $100, OR made a minimum payment of $100 or more, any remaining balance due will be moved to the Installment Plan (there is no paperwork for you to complete). This will happen approximately September 3. Once the balance is moved to the Installment Plan, you will have two new due dates—October 6 and November 5; half of the balance will be due on each date.
  • If you will have a credit balance (i.e. you owe less than your anticipated aid), you do not need to make a payment; just confirm after August 24 that all of your aid has been disbursed. Sign up for direct deposit (ACH) refunds at: https://uwm.edu/onestop/refunds/

In some instances, you may appear to have a credit balance, but this may not be the case if all of your charges haven’t been posted. Please confirm all charges are reflected on your billing statement. Billing/payment plan questions should be directed to the Bursar Office:  (414) 229-4915, bursar @uwm.edu, Mitchell Hall Room 285

What if I don't have enough to pay my entire bill?

All students are required to sign the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Educational Services Credit Agreement before registering for classes, so you have already done that if you are registered for classes; there’s no need to sign up. Eligible amounts still due after the due date will be put on the Installment Payment Plan. There is a $30 Installment Payment Plan administrative fee assessed after the second week of classes. Please visit the links in this section for details on how the installment plan works as well as how to make a payment.

If you have already been offered financial aid but need additional funds, please visit Additional Financial Aid Options.

What if I don't have any anticipated aid showing?

Read the PAWS Financial Aid Tutorial for help reviewing your PAWS account including “To Do Items and Accepting Aid.” If you haven’t applied for aid, it isn’t too late. Apply online as soon as possible at https://fafsa.gov. If you don’t have any anticipated aid, you must make the $100 minimum payment in order to participate in the installment plan and avoid possible late fees. Please note: If you are a first-year student who paid the New Student Confirmation Deposit for Fall 2021, you have satisfied the $100 payment requirement.

When will my aid disburse?

Financial aid disbursement begins Monday, August 23, ten days before classes begin. You should be able to see disbursed aid posted on your PAWS account that afternoon. The Financial Aid Office will send you an email either confirming your aid has been disbursed or explaining why it has not. E-mails will be sent in July and August to those whose accounts show they may experience a delay in their disbursement.

Beginning the week before the first disbursement, call volume in both the Financial Aid Office and the Bursar Office is extremely high, and you may experience longer than usual wait times. Please do not call before August 23 to ask if your aid will disburse. If you do not see any To-Do items in your PAWS account and do not fall under one of the categories below, you can assume your aid will disburse on time.

The easiest way to verify your funds have been disbursed is by checking your PAWS account after August 23 and read any email sent to your UWM account.

If your aid is more than your charges, the excess will be sent to you to use for your other educational expenses. Sign up for Direct Deposit of your Refund in order to receive your excess funds as quickly as possible. If you do not sign up for direct deposit, the extra (excess cash check) is sent to your PAWS mailing address from the Bursar Office in the form of a check. If you are expecting a check, please make sure that your mailing address on PAWS is correct. The Bursar Office will begin mailing these on Tuesday, August 24. They are unable to hold checks for pickup. If you have questions on your excess cash check, after allowing for postal delivery times, any questions should be directed to the Bursar Office.

What could prevent my aid from disbursing?

Even when disbursement runs smoothly, some students experience delays in receiving their funds. The most common problems are listed below:


  • Enrollment level and Financial Aid Budgets must match in order for funds to disburse. Original financial aid offers are based on the assumption of full-time enrollment. If you are an undergraduate student enrolled in less than 12 credits, you must tell us how many credits you will take. Our office will review your aid for possible revisions and make sure these match which then allows your aid to disburse. In most cases, a minimum of six undergraduate credits is required to receive any amount of financial aid. If you have not previously provided our office with this information, please do so now. The most efficient way to inform us is via our online contact form. Please provide the number of credits you will take (fall and spring if known). Include ENROLLMENT or CREDIT LEVEL in the subject line and also make sure you include your STUDENT ID # in the body of your email.) Failure to notify our department by August 10 may result in a delay in the disbursement of your aid.
  • Graduate students enrolled in less than 8 credits no longer need to tell us. We will adjust our records to match your enrollment in mid-August. Enrollment in a minimum of 4 four graduate credits is required to receive Federal Loan funding.


  • A one-time MASTER PROMISSORY NOTE (MPN) and ENTRANCE LOAN COUNSELING must be completed in order for Federal Direct and Grad PLUS loans to disburse. If this is your first time borrowing one of these loans, you will need to complete both of these requirements online at studentaid.gov. Select Step 4 Sign Loan agreement to complete the loan application and Step 5 Complete Entrance Counseling if you are borrowing for the first time. If you need to do either of these, you should see it reflected as a “To Do Item” on your PAWS account. Watch a tutorial for help.
  • NURSING LOANS – A new promissory note is needed each year. You should see it as a “To Do Item” in your PAWS account if one is needed.


  • If you are on an academic plan, financial aid warning, or probation, we need to confirm that you are meeting the SAP requirements to remain eligible for aid. This review is generally not completed until closer to the start of the semester.
What else do I need to know?

If you change the number of credits you are enrolled in after your aid disburses, an adjustment to your award may be required. For details, please refer to the “Census Date” section of the online version of the 2021-22 Undergraduate Financial Aid Handbook or the 2021-22 Graduate Student Financial Aid Handbook. Now would be a good time to review the entire handbook for important and timely information.

Pounce the Chatbot allows you to ask your questions 24/7 and most questions will be answered immediately. You can also contact a representative by phone or email. Advisors are available to assist with more complex issues via appointment. You can schedule an appointment online. You can select your preferred way of meeting. We offer phone, Teams/Virtual, or in-person.

Beginning August 2, you can reach a representative by phone 9 AM – 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday and Fridays 9 AM – 3 PM. Until then, phone lines are open 9 AM – 3 PM.

You can get all your questions answered remotely and submit most documents via e-mail or fax.

The office will be closed September 6 for Labor Day.

Find all of our contact information on our website here.